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Satyr
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PostSubject: Math Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:14 pm


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PostSubject: Re: Math Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:36 pm

Math has always been a fascinating subject for me.

One reason for this is because I was so bad at it, in the formal manner.
I could never get used to the methods, and I formulated mt own way of calculating things, to meet my immediate needs.
My brain was always artistic, more prone to linguistics, and math, being the most abstract of all languages, failed to inspire me.
I like telling myself that the major reason I never got into math was because of my constant back and forth, Between the Canadian and the Greek educational system, putting language on a different plane, and always setting me back due to the disparity between the two curriculum.
The Greeks system has 3 years of high school, compared to the Canadian 6.

The second reason, was math's abstraction, and how easily it can be turned into musical notes, into pure sound.
I, now, see how common language also possess rhythms and tempos, but they are not as malleable as pure mathematics.

Not even the more musical Latin languages, and Greek, can be as flexible as the mathematical form.
For this reason, math has been something mystical to me, for many years of my life.

Now, having gotten older, and wiser, I can see in it the same linguistic limits, and prejudices, all languages possess as a innate quality.
All languages are, after all, symbols of mental functions. And this makes them representations of human brain methodologies; tools to be used, but not to be taken literally.

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PostSubject: Re: Math Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:42 pm

Someone translates an idea, an imagination of something into a mathematical construct. Within that system are strict rules of logical operations. How the ideas are allowed to be manipulated and altered. The mathematician feels comfortable in that space and likes to stay in that space. A physicist uses math as a tool but the important part in the imagination and trial of ideas about reality. The line between mathematical operation and imaginative process tends to blur for them.

I believe that the way math is applied today in education is the opposite of how it came to be around. If someone repeats a thought process about something many times, the human mind starts to look for patterns and formulates some abstract recipe. Some minds are prone to heavy abstractions and they develop a complex system.
In education it's first the mathematical system and then, if at all, some thought process about how things might work - trial and error.

Natural sciences used to be about that trial and error process, in abstract form as in physical form - now it's the learning of recipes.
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PostSubject: Re: Math Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:19 am

I agree on the "mystical" quality of the subject, because I was also not very good at math. But when doing homework I could sometimes get in a "zone" where I did indeed feel very safe. The explanatory promise of mathematical "recipes" sometimes made it a joy. I also had a romanticized idea of what it must be like to be a mathematician. What did all these abstractions LOOK like, in their minds? For me they're like the players of the Glass Bead Game in Hermann Hesse's novel.

Another thing that makes it mysterious is the phenomenon of the savant, who proceeds informally and lightning-fast to solve problems that others have to break down formally step by step. The British writer Colin Wilson said he thought ancient peoples made use of savants' mental powers for their own purposes, and this is why today people are still amazed at some of the feats of architecture, navigation, and astronomy of ancient peoples. The savant himself is mystical enough to the rest of us...perhaps the first "gods" were savants and their associates. Perhaps "magic" and "occult power" has always been savant-level talent being demonstrated before the ignorant and gullible.

In my limited understanding, a mathematician's job in a sense is to slow down the speed of these mental functions, so that each little step is noted and explored. Whereas the savant simply uses the faculty. The latter just "knows," the former tries to explain how.

---

Interesting side-note: I remarked to an acquaintance about the stereotype of East Asians being "better at math" than Westerners. She said it's because of differing education styles. East Asian students don't use calculators, they use mnemonic techniques and drilling, drilling, drilling. Western students learn to use their calculators.
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PostSubject: Re: Math Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:56 am

Some people are very good at retaining information, data, recipes. Usually they are also good at constructing and maintaining big mental rigid structures.

I had a phase when I was not very good at math - probably a teacher thing.
Then I got a different one who didn't teach recipes but walked us through the thought process.
No drill, he just explained it in great detail, for some from different angles. I'd say about half of class began over time to solve the exercises without much of a recipe.
I am not good at retaining recipes, I have to reinvent the wheel, a bit, every time, so to speak.

Quote :

East Asian students don't use calculators, they use mnemonic techniques and drilling, drilling, drilling. Western students learn to use their calculators.

That's the new way of teaching, also in western schools. Everything has to be standardised, teaching, tests,... that comes with a price.
East Asian students learn recipes. Western schools try to teach* that as well with less success. For one thing they are often more disciplined over there, in general, and especially they are more suited for learning recipes. They often need one, actually - feel lost without one. Not only in math.

*Everybody must be a winner, with talent or not - Just apply yourself Wink

Quote :
In my limited understanding, a mathematician's job...

Doesn't sound that limited to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Math Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:27 am

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PostSubject: Re: Math Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:16 am

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: Math Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:44 pm

Cold Weasel wrote:
Interesting side-note: I remarked to an acquaintance about the stereotype of East Asians being "better at math" than Westerners.  She said it's because of differing education styles.  East Asian students don't use calculators, they use mnemonic techniques and drilling, drilling, drilling.  Western students learn to use their calculators.  

When I was 10, two children from Thailand immigrated to my village and came to my school. They couldn't speak much English and were shit at every subject as they'd grown up in a really impoverished area of Thailand, however they were both better at maths than the majority of students in the same respective educational year. Also the male was, interestingly, very good at chess. So that leads me to believe they had a greater mental capacity for logical thinking than the majority of peasant, English children.
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PostSubject: Re: Math Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:46 pm


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PostSubject: Re: Math Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:16 pm

Math and Geometry are approximation.
Art-forms, like all language forms, all symbolic forms, representing reality.

There is no point in space/time...no line connecting points.
No one, no nil.

The utility of geometry is orientation.
The utility of math is the translation of genetic codes into an abstraction man can use to project, to externalize organic processes outwards.

Negative/Positive as innate forces are meaningless, and only have meaning in relation to a conscious organism which places itself as the standard the medium towards which negative and positive relate, they are descriptions of relationships.

What is another way of describing this relating?
(Inter)acting.
No pattern outside an organism a life-form, is a "self", an "ego".
It is consciousness which simplifies relationships into unities it then anthropomorphosizes, using what it perceives and knows as self as the projected template.

Math and Geometry are such projections.
A mental grid, a mental (noetic) abstraction placed over the perceived patterns interacting.

There is no need to preserve a unity, outside a life-form.
There is no goal, no need to become more, outside a living organism.


How did this life emerge then?
And this also explains why life is so rare.
Let's see...

In the quadrillion upon quadrillion (inter)actions occurring [the number is incomprehensible to the human mind] some (inter)actions assimilate patterns that relate with internally...they attain congruence of flow.
Internally meaning that their pattern-to-pattern relating exceeds their pattern to patterns outside this congruence relating (interacting).

They continue to (inter)act with other patterns, and more intensely with the patterns they have established a harmonious relationship with, but not a perfect relationship with.
Congruence does not mean absolute unity.
Internal frictions disharmony persists.
This eventually results in a certain degree of balance.

The path-of-least-resistance being the most efficient path, determining the pattern's (inter)actions with other patterns, placing them in a state man can measure: place, within space/time - the grid within his brain.

So, a pattern, because it is that particular pattern (frequency, ordering, fluctuating rhythm...any metaphor will do), relates with other patterns not part of a harmonious relationship and without a harmonious relationship.
The relationship with patterns exceeding a certain level of harmony are what we call stable...or a unity.

Since the pattern is following the path-of-least-resistance it will remain in the condition of relating with the patterns where less friction, less conflict, is present.
Man calls this a "one".
In time the aggregate energies of the pattern will be shaved-off by this constant (inter)action stabilizing the internal harmony further...balance.  

No plan, no desire, no God, no conspiracy.

Will acquires is value here.
Once this relating develops a stabilizing, balancing, state, it may, or most probably, may not, develop a mechanism of internal relating, after a period of constant (inter)acting.
This is the beginning of life.
The internal relating, as a reaction to relating to patterns outside this more harmonious relating, develops a stable relating...this is congruence attaining a balance, a stability = ordering.
This ordering begins to develop an efficiency, where the patterns in tune, in harmony, now respond to the patterns outside this relationship in unison - synergy.

It is this synergy which, after a time of assimilating more patterns into its harmonious inter-relating, develops (evolves) a specialization where one pattern takes up one role giving way to another pattern's role.
This specialization follows the path-of-least resistance as it develops internally, through the participating pattern's inter-relating.
We are now in an organism.
A self-organizing congruence relating to other patterns in unison.
I would call DNA the patterns directing the patterns in congruence, maintaining their harmony, their efficiency.

Will is the specialization of patterns in the role of directing the congruence, now an organism, in relation to patterns outside their harmony, their inter-relating.
Will is the focus of excess, overflowing, as it is called, of energies left-over from the self-organizing congruence's internal (inter)acting.
This is why "Will or Power" signifies a weakness striving to assimilate energies into its harmony which are lost both due to the internal and external (inter)acting of all the participating patterns.    
To speak of Will outside a living organism is, again, nonsense.

All this, being the product of interactivity with no plan, no goal, no telos, no grand order....is considered by the outcome of this process, as inevitable, as if it were part of some conspiracy, a goal, an internal mission.
Almost as if all the participating patterns were in on a secret, or part of a universal order.

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PostSubject: Re: Math Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:14 pm

Was anyone here once bad at math... but then eventually became good at math? If so, how'd you do it? Rote memorization, or did something "click" artistically?

I was bad at math, and I'm still relatively bad at math, though I can teach algebra well. That kind of linear, well-laid-out kind of problem (algebra) is easy for me to follow. And despite my spacial ability to feng shui any piece of furniture through any doorway, I'm not very good at geometry... not good at trig... and therefore downright crap with calculus.

I have this wild theory that my limitation in regard to mathematics is something fundamental. (Mostly mental, and not really that much fun.) Some kind of perspective issue... and if I could just see what I was working with differently (properly?), I would get it. Something would "click," but that "click" wouldn't be some unknown or some feeling. It would be precise, and I would know it, and be able to explain it.

This...

Satyr wrote:
So, a pattern, because it is that particular pattern (frequency, ordering, fluctuating rhythm...any metaphor will do), relates with other patterns not part of a harmonious relationship and without a harmonious relationship.
The relationship with patterns exceeding a certain level of harmony are what we call stable...or a unity.

Since the pattern is following the path-of-least-resistance it will remain in the condition of relating with the patterns where less friction, less conflict, is present.

...is the closest I've ever heard anyone else speak of this subject relating to my quest to make math "click" in a fundamentally non-mathematical way. It isn't the answer I'm looking for, but I think it's in the right direction. Hence my inquiry.

The only way I can currently relate to this is through art. I used to be a terrible artist, because I was trying to draw/paint exactly what I was seeing. I only became good when I stopped doing this, and began to focus on drawing/painting an approximation of what I was seeing. A simple example is instead of trying to draw a tree, I will draw the shape of the tree... and eventually the tree will come together on its own for the most part.

I feel like there is something similar in my ability to view a math problem, only I don't know how to slip into splatter vision when it comes to something mathematical. Yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Math Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:02 am

Acryptical wrote:
Was anyone here once bad at math... but then eventually became good at math? If so, how'd you do it? Rote memorization, or did something "click" artistically?

I was bad at math, and I'm still relatively bad at math, though I can teach algebra well. That kind of linear, well-laid-out kind of problem (algebra) is easy for me to follow. And despite my spacial ability to feng shui any piece of furniture through any doorway, I'm not very good at geometry... not good at trig... and therefore downright crap with calculus.

I have this wild theory that my limitation in regard to mathematics is something fundamental. (Mostly mental, and not really that much fun.) Some kind of perspective issue... and if I could just see what I was working with differently (properly?), I would get it. Something would "click," but that "click" wouldn't be some unknown or some feeling. It would be precise, and I would know it, and be able to explain it.

The only way I can currently relate to this is through art. I used to be a terrible artist, because I was trying to draw/paint exactly what I was seeing. I only became good when I stopped doing this, and began to focus on drawing/painting an approximation of what I was seeing. A simple example is instead of trying to draw a tree, I will draw the shape of the tree... and eventually the tree will come together on its own for the most part.

I feel like there is something similar in my ability to view a math problem, only I don't know how to slip into splatter vision when it comes to something mathematical. Yet.


I think this has to do with the evolutionary differentiation of the brain or the 'bicameral mind' into the right and left hemispheres, and the effeciency in such division of labour:

McGilchrist wrote:
"In his book Faces: The Changing Look of Humankind, Milton Brener has presented a detailed study of the way in which the portrayal of the human face evolved in antiquity. Noting that 90 per cent of emotional communication is non-verbal, and that most of this is expressed through the face (described by Georg Lichtenberg as ‘the most entertaining surface on earth’), he begins by reflecting that there are virtually no faces in prehistoric art. Its subjects are mainly animals; where there are humans, there is often only a pelvis, buttocks and breasts, and almost all figurines are headless; where there is a head, though there may be hair, there is no face. When faces first begin to appear they are expressionless, schematic and non-individualised. He makes a case that the earliest drawings, in their lack of spatial orientation or relationship between parts, repetition of stereotypic abstract patterns, and description of what we know rather than what we see (for example, the so-called ‘X-ray’ portrayal of the human being, showing the bones inside the body) show suggestive points of comparison with the productions of neuropsychiatric patients relying on the left hemisphere alone.

The importance of the right hemisphere in ‘processing’ faces and apprehending facial expressions, in feeling and expressing emotions, including and especially through the face, in feeling empathy and in appreciating individuality, has the basis in the right hemisphere for the capacity for aesthetic enjoyment. The relatively sudden change that came over the portrayal of the human face in the period beginning in the sixth century BC, and particularly from the fourth century, in Greece, in which the more abstracted, stereotypic and inexpressive gaze of Egyptian and early Greek representations of the face and head gives way to portraiture which is more individualised, varied, emotionally expressive and empathic, is attributed by Brener to a rapid advancement in functioning of the right hemisphere in Greece at around the same period. Other evidence for this, according to Brener, would be evolution of a body of highly expressive poetry rich in metaphor, the evolution of the idea of the individual as having legitimate claims to be balanced with those of the community at large, and a sense of empathy with others in general, as well as an interest in the natural world – to which I would add a sense of humour based on ironic appreciation of the pathos of man's position in the world as a ‘being towards death’." [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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From the same:

Quote :
"From this it follows that in almost every case what is new must first be present in the right hemisphere, before it can come into focus for the left. For one thing, the right hemisphere alone attends to the peripheral field of vision from which new experience tends to come; only the right hemisphere can direct attention to what comes to us from the edges of our awareness, regardless of side. This difference is pervasive across domains. Not just new experience, but the learning of new information or new skills also engages right-hemisphere attention more than
left, even if the information is verbal in nature. However, once the skills have become familiar through practice, they shift to being the concern of the left hemisphere, even for skills such as playing a musical instrument."


Quote :
"If it is the right hemisphere that is vigilant for whatever it is that exists ‘out there’, it alone can bring us something other than what we already know. The left hemisphere deals with what it knows, and therefore prioritises the expected – its process is predictive. It positively prefers what it knows. This makes it more efficient in routine situations where things are predictable, but less efficient than the right wherever the initial assumptions have to be revised, or when there is a need to distinguish old information from new material that may be consistent with it. Because the left hemisphere is drawn by its expectations, the right hemisphere outperforms the left whenever prediction is difficult."


Quote :
"The right hemisphere is, in other words, more capable of a frame shift; and not surprisingly the right frontal lobe is especially important for flexibility of thought, with damage in that area leading to perseveration, a pathological inability to respond flexibly to changing situations. For example, having found an approach that works for one problem, subjects seem to get stuck, and will inappropriately apply it to a second problem that requires a different approach – or even, having answered one question right, will give the same answer to the next and the next. It is the right frontal cortex that is responsible for inhibiting one's immediate response, and hence for flexibility and set-shifting; as well as the power of inhibiting immediate response to environmental stimuli.
It is similar with problem solving. Here the right hemisphere presents an array of possible solutions, which remain live while alternatives are explored. The left hemisphere, by contrast, takes the single solution that seems best to fit what it already knows and latches onto it."


Quote :
"The right hemisphere sees the whole, before whatever it is gets broken up into parts in our attempt to ‘know’ it. Its holistic processing of visual form is not based on summation of parts. On the other hand, the left hemisphere sees part-objects.
The right hemisphere, with its greater integrative power, is constantly searching for patterns in things. In fact its understanding is based on complex pattern recognition.
For the same reason that the right hemisphere sees things as a whole, before they have been digested into parts, it also sees each thing in its context, as standing in a qualifying relationship with all that surrounds it, rather than taking it as a single isolated entity. Its awareness of the world is anything but abstract.
Anything that requires indirect interpretation, which is not explicit or literal, that in other words requires contextual understanding, depends on the right frontal lobe for its meaning to be conveyed or received. The right hemisphere understands from indirect contextual clues, not only from explicit statement, whereas the left hemisphere will identify by labels rather than context (e.g. identifies that it must be winter because it is ‘January’, not by looking at the trees)."


Quote :
"This difference is particularly important when it comes to what the two hemispheres contribute to language. The right hemisphere takes whatever is said within its entire context. It is specialised in pragmatics, the art of contextual understanding of meaning, and in using metaphor. It is the right hemisphere which processes the non-literal aspects of language.
It is also why the right hemisphere underpins the appreciation of humour, since humour depends vitally on being able to understand the context of what is said and done, and how context changes it. Subjects with right brain damage, like subjects with schizophrenia, who in many respects resemble them, cannot understand implied meaning, and tend to take conversational remarks literally.
The left hemisphere, because its thinking is decontextualised, tends towards a slavish following of the internal logic of the situation, even if this is in contravention of everything experience tells us.
This can be a strength, for example in philosophy, when it gets us beyond intuition, although it could also be seen as the disease for which philosophy itself must be the cure; but it is a weakness when it permits too ready a capitulation to theory. The left hemisphere is the hemisphere of abstraction, which, as the word itself tells us, is the process of wresting things from their context. This, and its related capacity to categorise things once they have been abstracted, are the foundations of its intellectual power. The left hemisphere can only re-present; but the right hemisphere, for its part, can only give again what ‘presences’. This is close to the core of what differentiates the hemispheres."


Quote :
"It is the right hemisphere that has the capacity to distinguish specific examples within a category, rather than categories alone: it stores details to distinguish specific instances. The right hemisphere presents individual, unique instances of things and individual, familiar, objects, where the left hemisphere re-presents categories of things, and generic, non-specific objects. In keeping with this, the right hemisphere uses unique referents, where the left hemisphere uses non-unique referents. It is with the right hemisphere that we distinguish individuals of all kinds, places as well as faces. In fact it is precisely its capacity for holistic processing that enables the right hemisphere to recognise individuals. Individuals are, after all, Gestalt wholes: that face, that voice, that gait, that sheer ‘quiddity’ of the person or thing, defying analysis into parts.
Where the left hemisphere is more concerned with abstract categories and types, the right hemisphere is more concerned with the uniqueness and individuality of each existing thing or being. The right hemisphere's role as what Ramachandran has described as the ‘anomaly detector’ might in fact be seen rather as an aspect of its preference for things as they actually exist (which are never entirely static or congruent – always changing, never the same) over abstract representation, in which things are made to be fixed andequivalent, types rather than individuals.
The right hemisphere is concerned with finer discriminations between things, whether living or non- living. As the more ‘subordinate’ categories become more individuated they are recognised by the right hemisphere, whereas the left hemisphere concerns itself with the more general, ‘superordinate’ categories. In keeping with this, despite the well-known right-hemisphere advantage in dealing with the visuospatial, the left hemisphere is superior at identifying simple shapes and figures, which are easily categorised, whereas complex figures, being less typical, more individual, are better processed by the right hemisphere. In general, then, the left hemisphere's tendency is to classify, where the right hemisphere's is to identify individuals."


Quote :
"Because the right hemisphere sees nothing in the abstract, but always appreciates things in their context, it is interested in the personal, by contrast with the left hemisphere, which has more affinity for the abstract or impersonal.The right hemisphere's view of the world in general is construed according to what is of concern to it, not according to objective impersonal categories, and therefore has a personal quality. This is both its strength and its weakness in relation to the left hemisphere. It deals preferentially with whatever is approaching it, drawing near, into relationship with it. The right temporal lobe deals preferentially with memory of a personal or emotionally charged nature, what is called episodic memory, where the left temporal lobe is more concerned with memory for facts that are ‘in the public domain’."

Quote :
"Interestingly the right hemisphere's concern with the personal past may be directly linked to something else we will come to, its tendency towards feelings of sadness.
The right hemisphere prioritises whatever actually is, and what concerns us. It prefers existing things, real scenes and stimuli that can be made sense of in terms of the lived world, whatever it is that has meaning and value for us as human beings. It is more able to assimilate information from the environment, without automatically responding to it, and, possibly as a result, the developing right hemisphere is more sensitive to environmental influences. At the same time the left hemisphere is more at home dealing with distorted, non-realistic, fantastic – ultimately artificial – images.
Because of the right hemisphere's openness to the interconnectedness of things, it is interested in others as individuals, and in how we relate to them. It is the mediator of empathic identification. If I imagine myself in pain I use both hemispheres, but your pain is in my right hemisphere.
‘Self-awareness, empathy, identification with others, and more generally intersubjective processes, are largely dependent upon ... right hemisphere resources.’ When we put ourselves in others' shoes, we are using the right inferior parietal lobe, and the right lateral prefrontal cortex, which is involved in inhibiting the automatic tendency to espouse one's own point of view. According to Simon Baron- Cohen, the right hemisphere is engaged even in listening to words describing the mind, such as ‘think’ and ‘imagine’. But the right hemisphere will empathise with, identify with, and aim to imitate only what it knows to be another living being, rather than a mechanism – a point of interest in view of the roles we have seen the two hemispheres play in the division of the world into the animate and the inanimate."


Quote :
"Insight is also a perception of the previous incongruity of one's assumptions, which
links it to the right hemisphere's capacity for detecting an anomaly.
Problem solving, making reasonable deductions, and making judgments may become harder if we become conscious of the process. Thus rendering one's thought processes explicit, or analysing a judgment, may actually impair performance, because it encourages the left hemisphere's focus on the explicit, superficial structure of the problem.
So the left hemisphere needs certainty and needs to be right. The right hemisphere makes it possible to hold several ambiguous possibilities in suspension together without premature closure on one outcome. The right prefrontal cortex is essential for dealing with incomplete information and has a critical role to play in reasoning about incompletely specified situations. The right hemisphere is able to maintain ambiguous mental representations in the face of a tendency to premature over-interpretation by the left hemisphere. The right hemisphere's tolerance of uncertainty is implied everywhere in its subtle ability to use metaphor, irony and humour, all of which depend on not prematurely resolving ambiguities. So, of course, does poetry, which relies on right-hemisphere language capacities. During ambiguous stimulation of perceptual rivalry (the phenomenon of an ambiguous figure that can be seen in one way or another, but not both simultaneously) right frontal cortex is more active.
Blurred or indistinct images are not a problem for the right hemisphere, but are for the left. One of the most consistent early findings in hemisphere specialisation was that whenever an image is either only fleetingly presented, or presented in a degraded form, so that only partial information is available, a right-hemisphere superiority emerges – even when the material is verbal.
In some subtle experimental work Justine Sergent was able to demonstrate this and its converse, namely that when images are presented for longer than usual, thus increasing their certainty and familiarity, a left-hemisphere superiority emerges, even when it comes to face recognition. The ‘functions’ are not arbitrarily housed together in this or that hemisphere: they form, in the case of either hemisphere, aspects of two whole ways of being in the world."


Quote :
"Although relatively speaking the right hemisphere takes a more pessimistic view of the self, it is also more realistic about it. There is evidence that (a) those who are somewhat depressed are more realistic, including in self-evaluation; and, see above, that (b) depression is (often) a condition of relative hemisphere asymmetry, favouring the right hemisphere. Even schizophrenics have more insight into their condition in proportion to the degree that they have depressive symptoms. The evidence is that this is not because insight makes you depressed, but because being depressed gives you insight.
Insight into illness generally is dependent on the right hemisphere, and those who have damage to the right hemisphere tend to deny their illness – the well-recognised, and extraordinary phenomenon of anosognosia, in which patients deny or radically minimise the fact that they have, for example, a blatant loss of use of what may be one entire half of the body.
The more we are aware of and empathically connected to whatever it is that exists apart from ourselves, the more we are likely to suffer.
Perhaps to feel at all is inevitably to suffer. The Greek word pathe, feeling, is related to pathos, an affliction, and t o paschein, to suffer: the same roots are in our word ‘passion’ (and a similar development leads to the German word for passions, Leidenschaften, from the root leiden, to suffer). This is just one reason to doubt the easy equation between pleasure and happiness, on the one hand, and ‘the good’, on the other."


There is an efficient double-checking in the brain, because of the right-left differentiation, where one hemisphere specializes in details, and the other in the larger picture, and in the ideal case, where both spheres are balanced and given full scope, the two communicate together like two films overlapping like a palimpsest -  there is a useful cross-checking, allowing the brain to tally inputs observed between the micro and macro perspectives, and come to a sense making, to make more efficient value-judgements. This is where objective and subjective assessments and interpretations co-exist and mutually empower each other. Intuition and Intellect given full scope, help arrive at a more fuller, nuanced picture of the self and the world. When the brain balances between inputs received by keeping the eye on the tree And the eye on the forest, for example, you have a more fuller picture, instinctual and sensual verification that tallies:

Castaneda wrote:
"Inner silence is a peculiar state of being in which thoughts are canceled out and one  can function from a level other than that of daily awareness. Inner silence means the suspension of the internal dialogue. ..and is therefore a state of profound quietude.

The Internal Dialogue

"You think and talk too much. You must stop talking to yourself. You talk to yourself too much. You're not unique at that. Every one of us does that. We carry on an internal talk. We talk about our world. In fact we maintain our world with our internal talk. Whenever we finish talking to ourselves the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we kindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. Not only that, but we also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day that we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die. A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his talking."(2,14,263)

"The internal dialogue stops in the same way that it begins: by an act of will. We will ourselves to talk to ourselves. The way to stop talking to ourselves is to use exactly the same method: we must will it, we must intend it. (7,8,137)

One procedure for shutting off the internal dialogue: ...walking for long distances without focusing the eyes on anything. The recommendation was to not look at anything directly but, by slightly crossing the eyes, to keep a peripheral view of everything that presented itself to the eyes. If one kept one's unfocused eyes at a point just above the horizon, it was possible to notice, at once, everything in almost the total 180-degree range in front of one's eyes. (4,1,21) [Also, the fingers on both hands should be slightly curled. (4,12,232)]" [Don Juan]

Apollonianism is the view that the hierarchy of organ development that allows such a mutual balance, a "centric point" in the mind that is able to experience both inputs, is reason>passion>appetite,,, while Dionysianism is the view that, that hierarchy is passion>reason>appetite.


In the not so ideal case, poor genetic development, where one hemisphere functions more and dominates the other, the brain either goes into rigid objectivity or subjectivity losing out on the inputs provided by the other, resulting in a fuzzy pic. of the world.

Nihilism is effected from the confusion of the need for communication between the spheres, to the elimination of the differentiation itself into a singularity: objective nihilists [enlightenment reason-alone] and subjective nihilists [enlightenment's reactionary panpsychists/anarcho-primitivists emotion-alone].

Elimination of either sphere is an error, and no progress of overall consciousness.

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Math Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:10 am

I remember first reading about the bicameral mind when learning about Sumeria. Creepy stuff. I always imagined them going around with earpieces in, someone on the other end of the line just giving them orders. It's interesting to think of the bicameral mind as something a little more metaphorical, representing the logical rational mind and the primitive, chemical drive we feel as an animal species. While there's the tendency to view the bicameral mind as primitive, it appears to be the opposite.

What you present, Lyssa, makes sense. And to develop both spheres, practice is required.

The exercise of utilizing splatter vision while walking I know to be useful. When I was a child, my days were often spent on long walks in the woods. This "wide scope" awareness was useful, and I was so aware of everything all at once. As I became older and spent significantly less time in the forest, upon returning I would find my vision closing in onto single points. I was far less aware of things than I once was, and had to work on bringing that awareness to the front. Still do. Time on this computer takes away from it, as well, and from my personal experience there doesn't seem to be an "awakening" or "enlightening" point where one suddenly is capable of this constantly, all the time, without continuous effort being applied. It's a nice little fantasy, though.

Alas, this doesn't work with math as far as I know. When used, everything just gets fuzzy. But that's the literal interpretation. The search continues.
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PostSubject: Re: Math Mon May 08, 2017 7:53 pm


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